While the Android environment does support various types of media files, one of the knocks on the OS is it's not easy to watch movies on. Issues with media conversion and a lack of playback control has hamstrung the Android operating system, something an article from 2008 demonstrates.
When it comes to supporting various media files, the VLC Media Player is a man among boys, offering one of the most thorough levels of media support, thanks to multitude of codecs VLC includes in its media player. With that in mind, an effort to bring the VLC Media Player's robust level of file to the Android environment is underway, as discussed in an article by Geek.com. According to Geek.com, developer Austen Dicken is fast at work on adopting VLC for the Android operating system, and if successful, it will make the device one of the more powerful media players in the mobile industry:
Austen describes his work on VLC for Android to be pre-alpha at this point in time, but he is still able to show some impressive results regarding basic functionality. In its current form, VLC for Android is actually two separate programs, one for the two different processor types currently supported by Android.
While the VLC Android app is not ready for prime time as of yet, the Geek.com article discusses their hands-on experience with the fledgling application, and the early impressions are very good:
For a pre-alpha, the app has been faster and more stable than any other video player I have used on Android. On top of this, it’s free and has played every file I have thrown at it so far.
That's about as glowing of an alpha test response as you can get. Over at Austen's blog, he shares some details about the development process:
I DID NOT WRITE THE SOURCE FOR VLC-Android.
It was written by the VideoLAN dev team. I simply compiled it based on their wiki and posted the binaries for convenience. I never made any claim that I had contributed any code to this project and stated in the original post that I pulled from their GIT repo and followed their wiki instructions. Please don't falsely attribute work that others have spent so much time on.
Apparently, credit was given to Austen where it wasn't due, and he made sure to correct that line of thinking by pointing to the VLC development team. Austen also indicates the app is "NOT ANYWHERE NEAR RELEASE," although if the hands-on is correct, what Austen has, even though it's not ready for mass consumption, is already better than the other media players offered by Android's apps.
With that in mind, Android geeks everywhere should be supporting Austen as much as they can, especially those who fancy their mobile device as a one-stop shop for entertainment, including watching movies and videos.